Shop ’til you drop!
BY: RACHEL WUMKES
There is a lot of debate about when the holiday season officially begins. Is it right after Halloween? Thanksgiving? What is the acceptable date to begin with all things snowmen, lights and presents?
This year, the Clear Lake Chamber is celebrating a new holiday season which runs from October 31st to December 31st. It’s called Small Business Season, where we encourage every single person in the community to support our friends and neighbors by shopping, dining, and exploring our incredible small businesses.
So, buckle up, my friends, because we are going to shout it from the rooftops until we’re blue in the face to SHOP SMALL this holiday season.
Our local stores are a big deal in Clear Lake.
While small businesses made up over 60% of all new jobs available this year, they face a slew of challenges. Rising costs have been crippling lately, as well as the struggle to find workers. According to JP Morgan Chase, “The median small business holds (only) 27 cash buffer days in reserve. Half of all small businesses hold a cash buffer of less than one month. Moreover, 25% of small businesses hold fewer than 13 cash buffer days in reserve.”
I know that was a lot of numbers in one short paragraph, but to break it down, it means most businesses wouldn’t last more than a month on their reserves.
They need our help. And, honestly, we need theirs!
On average, $68 of every $100 spent locally stays in our community. Why? Because the business owner lives here, too. So they take that money earned and enjoy a lunch with their friends at Avion Aul at the Airport. Or they buy a new pair of shoes from Skips Kicks. Or maybe they treat themselves to a movie night at Lake Theatre.
Whatever they fancy, business owners often spend their hard-earned dollars with other local businesses. This is because they understand the struggle to stay afloat, and the importance of reinvesting their money into the community.
Our challenge to each of your this season is to turn to small businesses first. They are the ones we go to initially to fund our nonprofit organizations, youth activities, and provide scholarships for graduates. When they thrive, we thrive!
Where you spend your money this holiday season matters. But don’t forget about all the “other” ways you can support our small businesses.
*Refer a friend
*Check in on social media or take a selfie and tag the store
*Like/Share/Comment on small business posts across all social media platforms
Think about the difference it could make to our businesses and the local economy if everyone pledged to buy ONE thing each week from a small business. It could be a meal, a cup of coffee, a book, a present, a decoration, a service or even a ticket to a local event!
Let’s do it, Clear Lakers. Let’s shop small, supporting our friends and neighbors this holiday season so they can ride the wave of economic prosperity right into the new year!
Check out our business directory HERE.